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Archive 2013 · AI Servo question
  
 
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #1 · AI Servo question


I was getting a lot of soft focus images while shooting indoor sports
(basketball, etc.) over the winter while using my 1D4 with my 50mm F1.4 lens while in AI Servo.
I usually had to be between 3200 and 5000 ISO, F2.8 to keep my shutter speed above 1/500.

I tried my 100 f2.0 with the same settings thinking I had read that the 50mm F1.4 is slow
to focus. It may have been a little bit better but I did get images that I thought were soft.

The focus seems to be great in single shot mode and my MA is good for each lens.

I was getting ready to send my 1D4 in for a clean & check while I go on vacation
but yesterday I was outdoors with the 200mm F1.8 shooting HS girls soccer and my images were very sharp.

Maybe the 200mm isn't a good comparison.
I was wondering if the lack of light indoors was my biggest problem.

Thanks for any replies, Ken.



Apr 03, 2013 at 01:59 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #2 · AI Servo question


Is everything in the photos soft? I shot indoor basketball with my 1D4 with very similar settings (4000 ISO, 2.8, 1/800) and from the baseline/sideline distance that is still a fairly narrow DOF. Also, when I was shooting at 1/500 I still noticed motion blur and with the pixel density of the 1D4 it's more noticeable.

Do you see the soft results when using the 50/100 outside? What are the results from using the 200 indoors? I would say at some point a round of testing to reduce your variables is in order.



Apr 03, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #3 · AI Servo question


the 200mm is never soft
the 100mm in one shot is very sharp (indoors)
I even think the 50mm indoors in one shot is fine.
The pictures look OK when you view the full size but when you zoom in 100% (to check for focus)
is when they look soft. At least they don't appear soft when the newspaper prints the size they do.

I wasn't sure if the 50 was just slow to focus or it was the high ISO that wasn't giving me the sharpness I was looking for. Every once in a while I get a photo that is very sharp (while shooting basketball) so I was wondering if I was just having trouble in AI servo mode.

I'll see if I can find a pic to post. Thanks.



Apr 03, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #4 · AI Servo question


I think part of it is the 50/1.4 is a tad slower than the 'proper' ring AF lenses but also when I had mine I noticed it was alot more 'nervous' in servo mode as well . It was slightly better than my 80-200L in which can I can feel the AF motor going back and forth ever so slightly trying to make up its mind .

Not so sure why the problem exhibits in the 100/2 though . That and its 85/1.5 brother are a pair of very fast accurate ring USM lenses .



Apr 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #5 · AI Servo question


Original shot, F2.8, 1/320, 5000 ISO



a different shot that appears sharp, I notice 1/640, F2.8 5000 ISO

enlargement of above, looks like the girl in the pony tail on the right is maybe sharpest of all

I hope these post OK - I haven't done this much



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #6 · AI Servo question





Apr 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #7 · AI Servo question


the above is a zoom of the 1st photo. I have to figure out how to add the photo and text at the same time, argh!


Apr 03, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #8 · AI Servo question


This is the original photo, 1/320 F2.8 5K ISO




Apr 03, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #9 · AI Servo question


This is a zoomed in version




Apr 03, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #10 · AI Servo question


This is one that I think is OK in sharpness compared to the others.
I notice this is 1/640, F2.8, 5000 ISO



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:10 PM
 

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JohnBrose
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p.1 #11 · AI Servo question


I do know that different lights will affect the focusing ability on the cameras, so that might be contributing to the soft images here. I personally wouldn't use the 50 1.4 for anything sports related-it's too slow to focus. The 100 f2 should be a bit better, but still not a real fast focusing lens. I typically use the 70-200 is2 or a 24-70 2.8 for sports and they focus nice and quick. Another option would be the 135 f2 if you have that available. It's also difficult to know what you were selecting the camera to focus on and how you've set up your 1d4 and how good your focusing technique is? There are many variables at play here.


Apr 03, 2013 at 03:28 PM
John_T
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p.1 #12 · AI Servo question


I find the 50 f/1.4 not only on the slow side to focus, but also erratic whether it hits or misses. This is not exactly a good combo for AI Servo. Further, Roger of Lens Rentals posted a chart of lenses and their focus increments and the 50 f/1/4 is about the lowest on the list with the least increments. The work you are trying to do is demanding enough, maybe you should think over what other lens you could use before deciding what is doing what.


Apr 03, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #13 · AI Servo question


Thanks, John, I will keep plugging away.
I thought maybe my 40mm pancake lens would focus faster but didn't like the view from it.
I'll look for that chart.



Apr 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM
John_T
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p.1 #14 · AI Servo question


I can't find it either and have forgotten the terminology for the chart, but in essence, the 50 f/1.4 has something like 560 AF increments and the 85 f/1.2 has 1,100.


Apr 03, 2013 at 04:27 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #15 · AI Servo question


What were you focusing on in the photos? The first one looks like the AF keyed on the girl in the foreground because her arm looks fairly sharp for 5000 ISO. The other girls behind her look like they are just out of the DOF range of the setting. Also, 1/320 is probably pushing it for sports.

The other one looks like it is just past halfcourt so the increased distance gave you a bit better DOF. Still looks like the AF keyed on the #10 girl and the defender is not quite in focus. Hard to tell without a 100% view.




Apr 03, 2013 at 05:28 PM
parquin
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p.1 #16 · AI Servo question


Hmmm.... you should review the settings and options for servo focus.

You are likely better to set for focus priority for the first and subsequent shots (otherwise it is quite likely that your first shot will be OOF).

Also be sure you have the focus point that acquires the initial focus on the subject you want (typically the centre focus point) Also be sure that the setting allows for focus to be handed off to other points you want to use.



Apr 03, 2013 at 05:56 PM
diverhank
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p.1 #17 · AI Servo question


I don't have the 1D4 but with my 5D3, I find that the focus shifts significantly with different types and levels of light. The manual even mentions that fact that you should perform MA for the condition you're gonna shoot at. The problem is usually with indoors lighting where it tends to front focus significantly (right on in normal daylight). In addition, the problem is worse when you are not using single spot focusing. Edit: In your sample pictures, looks like you've got some front focusing going on...the last picture above my post, the girl's shoe closest to the viewer is very sharp.

I recommend that you check the focusing and micro-adjust using the basbetball lighting and use spot or surrounding point focusing and not all points. I would not give up on AI Servo though.



Apr 03, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #18 · AI Servo question


thanks diverhank and others.


Apr 03, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Lutefisker
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p.1 #19 · AI Servo question


The first thing I'd eliminate is shutter speed. Maybe some can, but I can't get consistently sharp images with 1/320.


Apr 10, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Andrew J
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p.1 #20 · AI Servo question


I also believe this is an MA issue. If the lens is sharp outside, the correct MA indoors will be at least 5 points different.


Apr 11, 2013 at 09:05 PM
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